• Jordan Kerr

    Been reading articles on SEO for many years now and this is one of the most unique ways I’ve read to think about optimization. Well done.

  • Shanna

    Really enjoyed this article, especially in my current plight to educate content writers in optimization (if a blogger or writer, read: “brainwash creative writers to mass-produce marketing crap”). I am not interested in traffic for the sake of traffic, as much as I am interested in leveraging an untapped resource. Getting them to “empathize” with the search engines is hard, and that is before the savant syndrome and autism disorder (also obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia?). Regardless, can you offer any other advice on helping bloggers loose the ways of olde, print-style “creative”, and gain a little insight on constructing bridges between great content and the searchers looking for it?

  • loiswingerson

    A brilliant addition to the SEO blogosphere. But as content manager of a medical search engine (SearchMedica) that is heavy on psychiatric content, I disagree somewhat with your diagnosis. Googlebot clearly has Asperger syndrome, which is characterized by an obsession with certain limited kinds of knowledge and a distinct ineptitude at social relations.

  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey

    Jordan, thanks for the kind words. Personas are pretty effective, no?

  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey

    Shanna, I’ve always believed that great content does it’s own SEO. That really isn’t true.

    Every blogger has a unique audience, and every audience has unique tastes. Take the titles of this post: Demograhics, Description, Customer Commentary, etc. Write them on a piece of paper, and then fill them out for your blog audience. The Customer Commentary opens new universes of keywords because it is written in the voice of the reader.

    Pay extra attention to “Questions to be Answered.” These tell you what topics to write about.

    Then watch your traffic, comments, email subscribers, liking and retweeting for each post. You’ll quickly learn what your audience wants.

    Example: I thought this would be one of my most unpopular columns for the reasons I detail in the intro. It appears I’ll get some 300 tweets and 20 Facebook shares. That makes it one of my more popular ones.

    A hot column here at Search Engine Land will get no less than 600 shares and LOTS of comments. So I know I’m not writing “front page” material yet.

    I’m getting better, though.

    Do the personas, and have fun.


  • http://ConversionScientist.com Brian Massey


    I fretted about making light of a diagnosis that can cause so much pain to families. If it wasn’t clear, Googlebot was modeled after Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie “Rainman.” The real-life person that the movie borrowed from was diagnosed with a combination of Savant syndrome and Autistic disorder, according to Wikipedia (FWIW).

    Given your career, I suspect you are better qualified to judge than me. Most computers must be treated as “Aspys” according to Kathy Sierra (http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/)

    Best regards,

  • Stupidscript

    For me, one of the more illuminating bits was, “Uh-oh. Your site doesn’t change much. 99.93% of text is the same as last time I visited, 99.93%, defnitely 99.93.”

    And yet, while it was important enough to include in the limited quantity of words that make up the article, a suggestion to keep the site’s content fresh was not included in “Recommended Strategies”.

    Regardless, I agree that frequently-updated content is one of the things any visitor wants to see.

    Thanks for the framework!

  • Stupidscript

    D’oh! If I could take it back, I would.

    I see “Change Content Frequently” in there, now. Would Googlebot have missed it? Not likely. ;)

  • http://www.websimple.com/ Jeremy Bencken

    Hi Brian, thoight you’d enjoy this version of a persona I created to go with my ProductCamp Austin presentation, “Meet Googlebot, the Persona that Determines Your SEO Success,” back in January. It was good to see you there… it’s too bad our presentations time slots overlapped. Anyway here are the links: http://www.websimple.com/GooglebotPersona.pdf and http://www.slideshare.net/ProductCampAustin/meet-googlebot-the-personae-that-determines-your-seo-success-by-jeremy-bencken